While the onset of winter gladdens many hearts and fills people with joie-de-vivre in anticipation of year-end festivities, a major downside of the season is that it presents myriad health challenges – cold, cough and flu, among others. And, the more compromised is a person's immune system, the more are the risks of him catching a cold or coming down with chills and fever.
The body's strength fluctuates as the seasons change. A robust immune system will shield you from disease-causing pathogens and lower your risk of experiencing severe illnesses. To adapt to the outside environment and temperature, each season necessitates a different routine and nutrition. The pages of Ayurveda liberally expands on the need for a strong immunity to ward off ailments. One such concept or notion around immunity is 'Bala'. It pertains to the strength inside a single body. The concept explores the body's ability to fuel and heal itself, as well as resist diseases.
The word 'Bala' refers to the efficiency of our immune system and the speed at which we recover after coming in touch with infectious organisms.
Here are some Ayurvedic picks to help boost your immunity in winter and give your body the stamina it needs to fight against infections.
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Sweet potatoes (shakar kandi) help us thrive during the winter. Sweet potatoes contain vitamin A, potassium and a variety of other nutrients which help to build stamina and strengthen the human immune system. It is also rich in other nutrients such as beta-carotene and vitamin C. Inflammation and constipation can be controlled by eating sweet potatoes. You can boil it, eat it straight, or make a 'chaat' out of it. The elderly and children, too, can have it by adding milk to it.
Peanuts, also known as groundnuts, are a rich source of protein, healthy fats, and other micro- and macronutrients that keep the body warm and protect us from illnesses.
Chyawanprash is a blend of 20 to 40 Ayurvedic components and herbs with immunity-boosting qualities. Chyawanprash is also well regarded for its ability to enhance memory, cleanse the blood, prevent seasonal illnesses and promote digestion. Hence, it is advisable take a teaspoon of chyawanprash after meals to boost your immunity on several levels.
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Jaggery (gud) is loaded with iron and minerals. It must be consumed in the winter season because of its healing qualities. Enhancing blood flow all over the body, it helps to generate body heat. But since too much sugar may result in loose stools or mouth ulcers, jaggery should only be ingested in small doses every day.
Amla is the finest source of vitamin C, which helps to boost immunity. Along with reducing skin issues and stopping hair loss, it is also known to improve psychological wellbeing. Therefore, consuming one Amla murabba every day in winter will be beneficial.